The New Empire of Near Harad was the second empire established in the region of Near Harad. The empire was founded by Skilliar of the Gulf after he seized power during the falling apart of the Principalities of Near Harad. It ended after the Southron Plague deminished the lands populations and was succeeded by the so called "New City States of Near Harad".
With the seizure of power by Skilliar the unity in Near Harad broke completely. Skillar transformed Near Harad into a absolutistic monarchy again with a "Serpentemperor" at the top in an attempt to even exceed the Old Empire.
The succession of the Serpentemperors in Near Harad is:
- Emperor Skilliar I.
- Emperor Karsham I.
- Great Python Demon_26 (disputed)
Although the New Empire claimed to be the direct and rightful successor of the Old Empire it had problems consolidating its power in all of Near Harad, especially in the northern and western regions. Ajtiaz al-Harad even seceded from the newly declared empire to a fully independent city state. Because of the lack of territorial integrity some people did not recognize the Serpentemperor's rule over Near Harad and called it usurpation.
After the suprising demise of second emperor Karsham a Half-Troll named Demon_26 who served the New Empire, claimed to be the rightful successor and called himself "Great Python" of Near Harad. Since Near Harad suffered a great loss in its population the political situation in Near Harad was very unstable. Although Demon_26 claimed all power over Near Harad he was not recognized by most Near Haradrim cites and other factions and in the end renounced his claims over the lands.
The New Empire had great difficulty in controlling all Near Harad regions. The strongholds of the New Empire were located at the Gulf and Harandor while the fiercest opposition resided in Ajtiaz al-Harad.
Cities and Strongholds
Freehold of the Gulf
Haradwaith al-Harad (runied)
The capital of Mu'Taz was the biggest project during the New Empire. It was build in the eastern desert near the fertile valley and is said to be compareable in size to today's Ajitiaz al-Harad. The city was filled with impressive statues and surrounded by a great wall. The city was lost to the desert after the demise of Karsham I. and never seen again.
Beginings of the New Empire
The Principalities of Near Harad were slowly falling apart and losing it's influence after the Doom of Old Ain al-Harad. In an attempt to revive the Old Empire Skilliar from the Gulf seized power over the majority of Near Haradrim teritorry with the help of his followers. He declared himself first Serpentemperor of Near Harad and rightful heir to Karseius II. the last Serpent-ord. He ordered the creation of a new capital city at a secret location in the desert called Mu'Taz. The city was built by a newcomer called Karsham. At the same time Ajtiaz al-Harad declared its full independence of the New Empire. Resistance was also met in the west of the fertile lands. Although the New Empire claimed to rule all of Near Harad, it did not control all of the claimed territories and was also not recognized as legitimate by multiple factions. After a relatively short reign the first Emperor Skilliar resigned from the throne and appointed Karsham as second Serpent-emperor. The unexpected resignation of Skilliar and unusual fast rise of Karsham in power gave material for a lot of conspiracy theories. Some people believe Sklillar was only a puppet of Karsham to become Emperor. There were also multiple rumors about his identity. New Empire loyalists believed Karsham to be of royal decent of Karseius II. who was rumored to have fathered children in secret. Others believed Karsham is the youngest son of RookieNinjas II. or even Razum_Darn, who tried to establish his bloodline as rulers again, which lost their claim to the throne after the disappearance of RookieNinjas II. After Karsham took control over the New Empire Gondor and Rohan declared war and intended to conquer Harandor from the New Empire. The claim that Emperor Karsham's rule over Near Harad was based on usurpation remained until his sudden demise in the events of the Southron Epidemic.
After the war with Rohan an unknown disease spread through the continent of Near Harad which nearly halved the Near Haradrim population and weakened the faction severely. Emperor Karsham and various other Near Haradrim were victims of the event and vanished [were not accepted in the white-list]. The Southron Plague left Near Harad in its weakest position since the beginning of the server.
The Dark Ages
With a great loss in its population Near Harad lost most of its influence outside of its borders. Further more the already damaged legitimacy of the New Empire suffered even more after the demise of Karsham and most of his followers. With the new vacuum of power Near Harad fell apart yet again into several feuding camps fighting over power. Although practically the New Empire had ended, a Half-Troll named Demon_26 claimed to be the rightful heir to the throne of Mu'Taz with also a lack of legitimacy. Besides this claim the independent Serpent shamiir of Ajtiaz al-Harad still held central Near Harad as an independent city state which is considered as the last remains of The Principalities of Near Harad. The political situation of Near Harad as a whole remained blurry. With Near Harad at its weakest position ever on the server, Harandor was conquered by Gondorian Invaders while Near Harad as a whole lost all of its influence outside of its remaining borders. Later Demon_26 gave up his claims to the throne of the New Empire which undisputetly ended the empires existence. With the New Empire gone Near Harad entered a new phase ruled by city states known as the New City States.
During the New Empire the religious landscape of Near Harad did not change much.
Southon Mythology continued to be the most important religion of the Empire, although no new temples dedicated to the gods of the south were build.
Rumors spread that the New Empire nobility converted at some point to the forbidden Shadowcult from the Old Empire. Although the rulers of the empire never officialy lifted the ban on the cult, several temples of the shadow cult were tolerated by the ruling class.
The New Empire left little legacy in Near Harad. The controversial rule of the empire was fiercly opposed by a portion of Near Haradrim population, especially in Ajtiaz al-Harad. Most of the builds errected during this period, including the grand capital Mu'Taz, were lost deep in the desert. During the late Astrasi Empire a statue of Emperor Skilliar was errected at Poros to remember his sacrifice during the ivasion of Harandor by Gondor and Rohan.